Historic cemetery project’s new face

Ann Masat, new project manager for Berkhamsted's Rectory Lane Cemetery project
Ann Masat, new project manager for Berkhamsted's Rectory Lane Cemetery project
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A ground-breaking cemetery restoration scheme has appointed a new project manager to oversee its progress.

The Friends of St Peter’s have appointed Ann Masat to oversee the Rectory Lane Cemetery project in Berkhamsted over the next 12 months.

From left, Julia Watts, James Moir and Elaine Mercer with the 'Sutton grave' in Berkhamsted Cemetery.

From left, Julia Watts, James Moir and Elaine Mercer with the 'Sutton grave' in Berkhamsted Cemetery.

Earlier this year, the community group was given £73,600 in development funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) to help restore the cemetery, which is a resting place for more than 7,000 people.

Ann, who will be working alongside Friends’ trustee James Moir and others, said she has been ‘impressed’ by the Friends’ dedication so far.

“I have been impressed by the volunteer input to date, but we are going to reach out to the whole community.

“We need people who are interested in the wildlife and biodiversity of the site, want to learn new skills, give guided walks, help with events, do yoga or tai chi classes or just enjoy working with a friendly team in a beautiful space.”

The Friends’ aim is to restore the heritage of the town’s three-acre burial ground, which is behind the Rex Cinema, and turn it into a ‘sustainable community asset’.

The initial £73,600 will help the Friends of St Peter’s progress their plans with the aim of securing the full grant of £952,200 next year.

Ann, who has worked on a similar project in Little Chalfont, said: “I was surprised by the amount of opportunities that will be available for training new talent – both professional and voluntary.

“For much of my career I have been involved in training initiatives; I am a former NVQ Level 3 Assessor and BTEC Lecturer for the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust (CSTT) in the subject of Tendering and Estimating.”

For more, visit www.stpetersberkhamstedfriends.org.uk